Put the Maison de Sabre luxe leather goods stamp on your personal brand


Two brothers from New Zealand, both qualified dental surgeons, decided to sink their teeth into the world of luxury leather goods.
Zane and Omar Sabre with leather Maison de Sabre backpack
Zane and Omar Sabre with leather Maison de Sabre backpack, pouch and phone case | Image source: Supplied

When it came to fixing teeth, the creative spirit was not fulfilled for Omar and Zane Sabre. Their entrepreneurial spirit had lain dormant for some years as they studied and worked as dental surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.

Their parents were encouraging and loved the stability of knowing their sons had good, steady careers ahead of them.

But the brothers were looking for more and they found something special in designing, producing and selling luxury leather goods, firstly phone cases, but the range has expanded to include bags, tags and other stunningly crafted accessories.

“We’ve always been entrepreneurs in heart and spirit and we’ve always wanted to create something truly special,” says Zane, 28, in an interview with Forbes Australia.

“We always thought we might open our own dentistry clinic together or be in business for sure. That was without a doubt. We understood one thing about each other. If we go into business, we go into business for something we’re super passionate about and for us, we were always fascinated about craftsmanship and quality. We really appreciate it.”

Their interest in materials and how things are put together and the quality of a product, has paid off in the collection they have built at Maison de Sabre.

Each purchase can be monogramed, because they see their products as an extension of the purchaser’s own personal brand.

Maison de Sabre iPhone covers
Masion de Sabre iPhone covers | Image source: Supplied

“We’re want to put Australia on the world stage, but the purpose of this company is to represent you. We are an extension of you. We are your companion piece, and we believe that every single one of our customers is their own brand,” says Omar, 31. “That’s the philosophy behind personalisation We want to innovate, to disrupt, to recreate and to produce the best leather goods that the world has ever seen and that every single Australian is going to be proud to own and to stand behind as well.”

The brothers bootstrapped the startup of the company five years’ ago with $40,000 in savings “which went fast”, they explain, on a website and samples. In that first year, Zane was finishing his degree and working in dentistry, Omar was working in dentistry, their father was recovering from leukemia “and it was the most exhilarating, challenging and also exciting year of our lives”.

“What it really showed us was that if humans get put under immense pressure, the possibilities are limitless,” says Zane. “What’s most rewarding for us is knowing that we are doing what we love and our passion every single day. That’s something not everyone has a chance or an opportunity to do.”

Five years since launch, they admit their journey to success has been rapid. First-year revenue hit $2 million, in 2020 they were included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs to watch and in the past 12 months, the brand has sold over 1 million units of product across the globe.

Japan has become their biggest market, where customers love the crossbody utility phone pouch, followed by the US and Australia, where an instant favourite has been the leather backpack launched in the past six months.

Masion de Sabre utility pouch
Masion de Sabre utility pouch and phone cover | Image source: Supplied

“We’ve done collaborations with some of the biggest household names in the world. Disney was the very first one. We did a collaboration with Barneys New York City, which has now led to us doing a huge wholesale opportunity in Japan,” say Omar.

Zane adds that the foreign interest in the brand has been huge. “We’ve been very fortunate with that. We’ve been spotted on celebrities across the world and magazine editors of the world, the stylists of the world as well. It’s very fortunate to have a community that absolutely adores the product. It stems from the craftsmanship and the dedication to quality that we put behind every single product.”

Omar designs the products, and manufacturing is done in Vietnam using sustainably produced leather from The Netherlands.

“Our foundations are in quality and dedication to craft and sustainability. We’ve been fortunate from day one that our timeless designs have really resonated with a global audience. In our first year we were already selling into the US and Japan,” says Zane. International sales currently make up roughly 80% of the brand’s revenue.

Far from being disappointed that the brothers are no longer practising dental surgeons, Zane and Omar say their parents and older brother are “their biggest fans”.

“Being in businesses is a huge risk. But very early on, they were such big supporters and indispensable. They’re incredibly proud of everything that we’ve been able to achieve,” Omar says.

“We are relentless in our vision,” says Zane. “We know exactly what we’re going to drive towards, we know that we’ve still got mountains and hills to climb ahead of us, but that’s what we love doing. We love breaking the ceiling.”

Masion de Sabre pieces from the collection
Masion de Sabre pieces from the collection | Image source: Supplied